Berlin (AFP) – There is no “guarantee” fans will be able to attend Euro 2020 matches at the Allianz Arena, the Mayor of Munich said Friday, contradicting a UEFA statement that supporters will be allowed into the stadium.
“Whether there are spectators, and how many, I could not say even a week ago,” said Munich mayor Dieter Reiter with Germany gripped by a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nobody can say that today either, which is why there have been no promises, of any kind, to guarantee spectators.
“The same applies to the Free State of Bavaria, which has not given any guarantees for spectator numbers,” Reiter added.
Munich’s mayor said he is pleased UEFA regards the Bavarian capital as “an attractive venue, even without spectator guarantees”.
The Allianz Arena will host Germany’s opening match of the European Championship at home to world champions France on June 15.
Germany’s other group games against Euro 2016 winners Portugal and Hungary will also be held in Munich, as well as a quarter-final.
Earlier, UEFA had said “Munich will be able to welcome a minimum of 14,500 spectators. Munich was therefore confirmed as a host venue for the championship.”
The Bavarian government has in principle agreed to 14,500 fans at the matches in the Allianz Arena, but has expressly left open the possibility of the figure being reduced.
“Everything will be decided when we know what is, and is not, possible in terms of infectious diseases,” added Reiter.
The German FA cautiously welcomed UEFA’s decision, but did not fully commit to granting entry to supporters.
“We look forward to great Euro 2020 matches in Munich — maybe even in front of an audience, if the pandemic’s development allows it,” said DFB president Fritz Keller in a statement.
– New national restrictions –
There have been no spectators at the Allianz Arena, the home of Bayern Munich, since March 2020, leading to fears that Munich could lose host city status.
Yet neither UEFA, the DFB nor the local authorities have the final say on whether to allow spectators at the European Championships.
In a controversial new law which was approved this week and will come into force from Saturday, federal states and local authorities no longer have the final say over how to implement specific coronavirus restrictions.
Instead, national regulations automatically come into force in areas where the seven-day incidence rate is higher than 100 new cases per 100,000 people.
At the moment, that applies to much of Germany. Munich’s own official figures put the incidence rate at 148.2 on Friday.
Under the stricter national measures, sporting events with spectators are explicitly forbidden.
“Competition and training is allowed for professional sportspeople… but only without spectators and with hygiene measures,” the law states.
On Friday, UEFA dropped Dublin and Bilbao as host cities over their failure to guarantee fans’ attendance, but Munich was confirmed as a venue at the last minute.
Dublin’s matches will be moved to London and St Petersburg while Seville replaces Bilbao as a host city.
After Dublin’s withdrawal, the tournament will now be held in 11 different countries from June 11-July 11.